Floodplains, Legal Research, Congressional Spending, More: Saturday Buzz, May 27, 2017


Furman Center, NYU: Introducing, Presenting Data on the People and Housing in the U.S. Floodplain. “ is a new data tool presented by the NYU Furman Center describing the people and housing located in the nation’s floodplains. The interactive map and data downloads make information available at the state, county, and Census tract levels…. The NYU Furman Center’s combines housing and population data with FEMA maps of the 100-year floodplain (the term for areas with a one percent probability of flooding each year) and the 500-year floodplain (areas with a 0.2 percent probability of flooding each year).”

Cornell: Law Library database makes more legal scholarship available. “The Cornell Law Library is partnering in the development and management of LawArXiv, a new online database of legal scholarship that aims to make important research more widely available to scholars, legal researchers and the public. LawArXiv is a free, open access repository for legal scholarship, maintained and owned by legal scholars and law librarians.”

Texas Monitor: New tracking tool shows Texas Republican congressmen among big spenders. “The nonpartisan Coalition to Reduce Spending, which created the website, gets its totals from Congressional Budget Office estimates. The tracker uses the up-or-down votes by members of the U.S. House and Senate on spending-related legislation, aggregating the spending contained in each bill for each member who votes yes. That provides a figure for each D.C. lawmaker.”


A WordPress 4.8 Release Candidate is now available. “RC means we think we’re done, but with millions of users and thousands of plugins and themes, it’s possible we’ve missed something. We hope to ship WordPress 4.8 on Thursday, June 8, but we need your help to get there. If you haven’t tested 4.8 yet, now is the time!

IFTTT is launching a new “Maker” tier. “In November of this year, we opened our partner platform and launched Applets. Since then, we’ve grown in every way — more users, more partners, and more Applets. We’ve also seen the number of people using our developer tools and services grow to over 200,000. We know this passionate and creative group, our Makers, are eager to use the powerful Applet building tools we launched for partners last year. So today, we’re excited to announce that the Maker tier of the IFTTT platform is open!”


Reuters: Vietnam says Google will cooperate in removal of ‘toxic’ content. “Google Inc’s parent firm, Alphabet, will work with Vietnam’s communist government to stamp out ‘toxic’ and illegal information on its platform, the Southeast Asian nation said on Friday. Vietnam tolerates little dissent and human rights groups and western countries have criticized its arrests of anti-government bloggers.”

CNET: Google’s three-step plan to make you love VR. “How is Google planning to dominate the brave new world of AR and VR? Not with one singular product, but with a barrage of different approaches on a similar theme.”

Bloomberg Quint: May to Tell G-7 Google and Facebook Must Do More to Fight Terror. “Theresa May will take her beef with Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. to the Group of Seven meeting in Sicily, where the U.K. leader will call on Internet companies to do more to fight terrorism and take extremist material offline.”


This looks more annoying than anything else, but: from BetaNews: NTFS bug allows any website to crash Windows 7, 8.1. “Users of older versions of Windows aren’t having the best time of it lately. Last week it was discovered that over 98 percent of those affected by the WannaCry ransomware were running Windows 7, and now a new bug has been found which can slow down and crash systems running that OS and Windows 8.1. The new bug is trivially easy to exploit, making just browsing the web potentially hazardous, and there’s currently no fix available.”

The Guardian: Trump immigration database exposes crime victims’ personal info, lawyers say. “A new US immigration database has exposed the personal information of crime victims, putting them at risk of further violence and violating federal laws designed to conceal the identities of abuse survivors, according to a coalition of attorneys.”


The Verge: How do you fix Facebook moderation? Figure out what Facebook is. “Despite years of warnings from academics, sociologists, and civic society advocates about the potential harm of unleashing technologies with minimal understanding of their impacts, social media companies unabashedly continue to espouse utopian visions. Tech powers continue to advertise products with promises of magic and awe. These products often come with little to no safety or privacy protocols against the potential for amplifying long-standing exploitation and violence. Facebook markets Facebook Live as ‘a fun, engaging way to connect with your followers and grow your audience.’ That may be how the majority of users use the product, but a quick Google search of Facebook Live turns up pages of headlines about live-streamed suicide, murder, and rape.”


Star Wars Day was a couple of days ago, and GIPHY is helping you keep the mood with a bunch of Star Wars GIFs. They’re helpfully organized into several, including character, reaction, and movies/tv. Good morning, Internet…

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Categories: morningbuzz

2 replies »

  1. How do you decide what to include here, and what goes into Firehose? Is there any overlap? I love BOTH, and constantly cite your work (always with credit to you, of course); I’m just wondering.

    Thank you.

    • Hey Beth, Firehose and RB are the same thing, only Firehose is individual entries so it’s easy for people to follow tags / keywords / categories. How do I decide what to put in? Mostly on a scale of how many people it could impact, how specialized it is, and how (if it’s a new story and not a resource) it acts as context to all the other stuff going on in the world. I think Google and Facebook agreeing to remove content on the orders of a country’s government, for example, to be important. Thanks!

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